Thursday, January 24, 2008

Custom Search for Toolhawker's eCommerce Site

Sean Mayo
Senior Software Engineer

Toolhawker provides tools, equipment and supplies for the professional technician. Sean Mayo recently implemented Custom Search Business Edition for Toolhawker, and we asked him how his experience has been.

Google: Why did you need Google Custom Search Business Edition (CSBE)?

Sean: I had built a complete custom e-commerce store from the ground up. With more than 6,000 products in our catalog, searching became a problem. Performing a queries on the database to find any relevant products was slow and not always accurate. Google's search algorithms and speed have always WOWed me so I decided to give Custom Search Business Edition a try.

Google: What technology, if any, did it replace and why?
Sean: It replaced our former database search technology and added good technology. We were able to use the XML stream model to deliver us fast search results directly from Google and completely customize the appearance to match our website.

Google: What benefits have you derived from using Google CSBE?
Sean: There are a lot of technological reasons I like Google CSBE - but from a business standpoint it has really helped with the speed of our website and with customer retention. We want buyers to find what they're looking for - and fast, or they'll look elsewhere.

Google: What features of CSBE do you appreciate most and why?
Sean: I appreciate that Google gives me so many options on how I can implement CSBE on my site. I chose to use the more advanced XML option but even novice programmers can easily implement a plug-and-play option.

Google: Are you using Google Analytics on your website?
Sean: Yes, I use Google Analytics on all of my websites. Google has become a real internet partner and provides a solution for almost all the tools you need to run a successful website.

Google: What's been the overall impact of using Google CSBE on your website?
Sean: The overall impact has been excellent. Along with better and more relevant search results and greater speeds, we've seen our average customer "pages per visit" increase by 25%.

Google: Do you have any advice you'd give others in implementing the CSBE for their company's use?
Sean: The XML was easy to implement and all of the documentation is straight forward and easy to understand. Most of my pages were already indexed with Google so the search worked just like